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THE WILSON QUARTERLY. 85 



NOTES- 



BLUE EGGS OF THE CROW. 

BY W. L. DAWSON, OBERLIN, O. 

One day last April, on my return from a trip after crow's 
eggs, I showed my finds, two sets having the ordinary 
olive-green and spotted coloration, to a friend of mine. He 
exclaimed in great surprise : "Why, I thought crows' eggs 
were light blue; those that I have seen were." In my su- 
preme oological conceit I chaffed him unmercifully for 
making such a wild statement ; but I only succeeded in 
arousing his Canadian blood, and he stuck to it most posi- 
tively that he had seen blue crow's eggs in Ontario, and 
that he had watched them till young crows had been 
hatched from them. 

A few days later, April 30th it was, I started out with 
my climbers and gun. and was accompanied by a fellow 
student of marked botanical instincts. 

In the course of the afternoon we came to a crow's nest 
placed about fifty feet high in a beech tree; and the first 
thing that attracted my notice as we approached, was the 
head of the crow as she peered anxiously over the edge of 
the nest. I walked slowly past the tree so as to size it up 
from another side; and not till then did I point out the 
bird's head to my companion. At the sight of my threat- 
ening finger, knowing that she was detected, the old crow 
flew off with loud " caws". I soon had on my climbers and 
made the ascent. Judge of my feelings when I peered in- 
to the nest and beheld, not the set of conventional crows' 
eggs, but a single pale blue one. I grasped the egg, still 
warm, and hastened down. Nothing but the possession of 
such a treasure would have made up for my humiliation at 
the "I told you so" of my Canadian friend, delivered with 
a very self satisfied chuckle. 

Nine days later I revisited the nest, this time taking 



86 THE WILSON QUARTERLY. 

great pains in my approach, meaning to secure a shot if 
possible. It was no use; the male discovered me and set up 
an outcry, and the female was off like a flash. Both birds 
were well seen however, and their continuous clamor in an 
adjacent part of the woods assured me of their interest if 
not of their sympathies. I ascended the tree with some 
trepidation, fearing lest the old bird should have gone back 
on her reputation as a freak. But I was not to be disap- 
pointed; there lay three eggs as destitute of markings as 
any woodpecker's, and having the same delicate blue tint 
as my first one. The nest was in every respect a crow's, 
though indifferently well lined. Although unable to secure 
the parent birds on account of their extreme wariness, I 
am thoroughly satisfied that the evidence for these crows' 
eggs is the best. 

The eggs measure as follows: 1.83 x 1.41 inches; 1.82 x 
1.38 inches; 1.78x1.39 inches; 1.72x1.39 inches; as com- 
pared to 1.70 x 1.20 for the average crow's egg. 

X 

On the 28th of May, 1892, while out collecting, I shot a 

male Olive-sided Flycatcher. This bird had a shining 
white brown ; the bill, which was slightly larger than or- 
dinary, was flesh colored with the exception of a black 
spot on the upper mandible. The back was spotted here 
and there with white feathers. Wm. Rolfe. 

[A case of partial albinism. — Ed.] 

X 

While exploring a deep, thickly wooded ravine leading 

into Vermilion River, Lorain County, Ohio, with a party 
of botanists, June 4, 1892, the publisher found a nest which 
he had sought without success for some years. 

Following the bed of the clear, cold stream at the bot- 
tom of the ravine, we flushed a bird from its nest in the 
side of a clay bank. The bird flew quickly away, "chip- 
ping" sharply, and giving us little chance for observation. 

A few minutes later, on the return back to the river we 
obtained an excellent view of the bird and easily recog- 
nized it as the Oven Bird, Seiurus aurocapillus. 

The nest was placed in a little hollow, in a recess of the 



THE WILSON QUARTERLY 87 

bank, with the sod at the top overhanging it a few inches 
above. It was not roofed over, and contained the excep- 
tional number of six eggs of the usual color and size ; in- 
cubation well advanced. The nest was made of dry root- 
lets, grass, and leaves, with finer rootlets and grasses for 
the lining. 

When we were within four or five feet of the nest, the bird 
left it, and joining its mate, flew nervously about at a dist- 
ance, uttering quick, sharp notes of alarm. 



Lynds Jones, President. J. Warren Jacobs, Secretary. 
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